Waverly Earp loved what she did. Purgatory had always been this place that she couldn’t wait to escape when she was in high school. She’d read travel magazines, stories of adventure through foreign lands, and even watch nature documentaries to get a sense to what she was missing. Her love for history, she thought at the time, stemmed from her desire to leave and explore. However, after graduation, she went on a trip with her much more well traveled sister, Wynonna, and found that leaving home wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. She missed her favorite drinks, food, and the familiar sights that brought her so many good memories of her life growing up, even though that came with some bad memories too. So, Waverly had come back, and sort of followed in her sister’s footsteps. “Sort of” as in opening a shop in the same tiny mall as Wynonna had opened her bar. It was a tiny antique shop, where she got to buy, sell, and trade old items and learn the history of every single one, and Waverly could see her doing this the rest of her life, no problem.
However, the downsides to running a tiny antique shop was that there wasn’t much room for expansion, nor any extra cash for paying any more than one employee, a grad student her age named Rosita, so Waverly found herself without much of a social life, other than with her fellow shop owners, which luckily included her favorite person and sister, Wynonna. There was a coffee place across the street from her shop that was run by a good looking guy named Champ, who Waverly may or may not stare at every morning as he gets his shop ready. Don’t judge her; it was good eye candy. There was a brewery, and her sister’s main rival in business, run by Doc Holliday, who Waverly found charming in an old wisdom type of way, that also happened to make her sister a rare form of flustered, angry, and horny all at once. It was very fun to see as a third party, and also how long they thought they could keep sneaking off to hook up without realizing that Waverly knew from the start what they were doing. There was also Xavier Dolls who owned the outdoor supplies shop that sold everything from tents and sleeping bags to bows and hunting rifles. He was always kind to Waverly, though always quiet, coming in every few weeks or so to see if she had any antique guns he might be interested in.
Overall, the Purgatory Mall was a quiet one that Waverly was very content to be at and to see what was brought in every day, and to see what she could learn about and then sell to people who actually appreciated the history that they were getting. It also didn’t hurt that she would close up the shop and go to see her sister every single day, and get the quality time they missed when her sister had a troubled spell before going off to find herself. It meant the world to her that the only family that she had left was right down the hallway from her and would always have a seat open at the bar for her to talk about their day. However, one morning in April turned Waverly’s world, as she knew it, upside down.
Waverly thought she knew everyone in the mall. She was a friendly person, even won an award for it at the last mall shop owner’s meeting, as voted by everyone else. However, that morning of April, as she sat near the front of her shop, book forgotten on her lap as she stared at Champ Hardy’s ass across the way, saw the appearance of the most magical being Waverly had ever laid eyes on. Champ’s respectably stare-worthy ass was forgotten when a redhead in a mall security uniform strolled in front of her gaze. Waverly’s eyes danced up along her form, and the way that the navy blue uniform hugged her in all the right places, until it reached her face and shortly cut, fiery red hair that seemed to shimmer in the fluorescent light. Waverly loved being bisexual.
Her head followed after the redhead, as she seemed to be taking an early morning stroll through the halls to make sure everything was running smoothly. She caught Waverly’s eyes with her own and offered a smile and a nod. That smile made her stomach flip over, as she tried to muscle up some response from her face to make her not seem weird, but she saw a little confusion pass over the mall cop’s face as she couldn’t make any part of her body work to respond. The beautiful woman turned the corner and disappeared, but Waverly stared after her a long while after that. It wasn’t until a customer waved their hand in front of her face, made more embarrassing by the fact her door had a loud bell that she hadn’t heard, that she broke her trance.
Waverly wasn’t really able to focus on her work the rest of the day, her thoughts on the mysterious redhead. Which is why, for the sake of her business, she needed to find out who she was. And that’s what caused her to give Nedley, the head of mall security, a near heart attack in his usual booth at Shorty’s, Wynonna’s bar.
“Who is the new girl?”
Nedley choked on his beer, coughing and spluttering as Waverly had slammed her hands down on the table in her excitement. She winced and pat his back with a bit of force, trying to get him to get over the fit. He grimaced and turned to her as she offered a small and sheepish, “Sorry!”
“The new girl?”
Waverly nodded. “The redheaded mall security girl.”
Nedley made a small hum of recognition. “That’d be Nicole Haught. She’s fresh from the academy and needs a small starting gig before she heads to the Purgatory PD. She’s bright and has a future, so I thought I might as well nab her up for a couple months before she moves on to bigger and better things.”
Waverly knew next to nothing about Nicole Haught, but the thought of her leaving in a couple months made her heart sink to the floor. She needed to get to know her before then, and she’d take the earliest opportunity to do so, even if it killed her. She crouched down, so that she was eye level with Nedley and bit her lip. “What’s she like?”
He raised an eyebrow at her for a moment before sipping his beer before answering her. “I’m not gonna do all the legwork for you, Earp. Grow a pair and ask her on your own.”
Waverly blushed, embarrassed at the elderly officer pinpointing her interest in the new girl so easily, and hurried away, not missing his chuckle as she scurried back behind the bar to her sister.
It wasn’t until three days later that Waverly saw Nicole again. She was opening her shop again as the redhead sauntered down the hallway with her confident steps, chin held high. Waverly couldn’t let this chance slip her by again, and she scrambled through her door, the bell jingling as she did and stumbled to a stop right in the woman’s path. She didn’t even falter in her steps as she came to a stop in front of Waverly. Her eyebrow cocked up in an amused silent question.
“Waverly.” She blurted out, wincing at her volume, way too high for a normal conversation with a human being. She cleared her throat and corrected herself and her volume. “That’s my name: Waverly.” She held her hand out to Nicole, who seemed to chuckle as she squeezed it back and shook it slowly. She had some callouses on her hands that Waverly almost got too distracted by to hear her response.
“Hello, Waverly. I’m Nicole.”
She nodded, “Yeah, I, um, asked about you to Nedley. I know everyone in the shopping center, so when I saw someone I didn’t recognize I…” She trailed off, as Nicole seemed to smirk a bit and nod.
“You had to find out. I get it.” She glanced over at the coffee shop and hummed, “I could use a coffee before my shift starts, would you like to come with me?” She gave Waverly a smirk that would be playing on repeat in Waverly’s fantasies about the redhead for the foreseeable future. “You can continue to cutely ramble on without me interrupting you.”
Waverly just dumbly nodded her head in agreement. “Yeah, okay.” She perks up with a giggle. “But, since you’re the one teasing me about my rambling, you’re buying. Got it, officer?”
Waverly couldn’t help but be incredibly pleased with herself as Nicole threw her head back and laughed. Her eyes were shining with mirth when she opened them again and turned to regard Waverly again. “Well, Miss Waverly, I’d say it’s the least I can do.”
Coffee with Nicole was the highlight of her mornings. After the first time, it had become kind of a tradition between them every morning. They’d talk about everything and nothing, getting to know one another and there were two things that Waverly was absolutely sure of. Number one was that she was ridiculously into the redhead in a way she had been into very few people in her life. It was honestly a little ridiculous that Nicole was all she could think about on most days. Number two was that, for whatever reason, neither one of them was making the first move.
There was flirting, oh God was there flirting, but neither girl seemed to know what the next step might be for them, so they simply continued down this path. Now, Waverly liked to think that she took what she wanted, but something about Nicole made her incredibly nervous and she wanted nothing more than for Nicole to make that first move between them, just so she knew she wasn’t misreading the situation, but she didn’t know how much longer she could last.
The weeks that this went on led her to later and later nights at Wynonna’s bar, Shorty’s. Her sister, as chaotic as she was, could be incredibly perceptive when it came to Waverly, which filled Waverly’s heart with a whole new feeling of warmness for her sister. It hadn’t taken her long to see how love-struck her sister was, and it only took a few leading questions for her to lock onto the new mall security officer as the object of her sister’s affections. It became a topic for relentless teasing, though always good-natured. Wynonna would also let Waverly talk to her about her frustrations and gush about all the wonderful things about Nicole.
It all led to one night that she was there, being served her second fruity drink that Wynonna swore she didn’t know how to make, that Wynonna cleared her throat to whisper under her breath. “Don’t freak, baby girl, but Officer Haughtie just walked in. Be cool.”
Waverly was not cool at all, and immediately choked on the sip she had just taken. It wasn’t till she felt a comforting hand on her back that she got her breath back. Her eyes were watery from the coughing fit, but she could still make out Nicole there giving her a look somewhere between amused and concerned. Wynonna had stalked off laughing loudly, and sharing no sympathy for her sister, and Waverly couldn’t bring herself to care when bright red hair was all her mind could focus on. “You okay, Waves?”
She nodded. “Yeah… just wrong pipe, you know?”
Nicole nodded, looking more amused now that she knew that Waverly wasn’t dying. “I do know.”
Waverly frowned in confusion. “What are you doing here?” Her eyes widened at how that could sound. “I just mean, I’ve never seen you in here before, and I’m here like all the time.” She flailed her arms and tried to correct herself. “Not that I’m an alcoholic, my sister owns this place, and…”
“Waverly, breathe.” She stopped and breathed a thankful breath. “You told me about Wynonna before, I knew this was her place and I wanted to come see how it stacked up to the praise you heaped on it.” Nicole gave her a heart-stopping smile that Waverly couldn’t help but return. Then it turned to a frown. “Is it closed though?”
Nicole was right to be curious. Shorty’s was empty save for them, and it didn’t close for another two hours, and Wynonna was nowhere to be seen now. Waverly frowned and shrugged. “I can get you a drink, and I know Jeremy is still in the kitchen back there if you want food.”
The officer smiled at her and nodded. “Maybe something we can share and a beer?”
And it went on like that, talking and splitting endless amounts of mozzarella sticks thanks to Jeremy before he closed up the kitchen and left. Waverly was pleasantly buzzed, while Nicole had just stuck to one so that she would still be able to drive. There had been many laughs and casual touches shared between them and it made Waverly feel more buzzed than any drink that she could possibly have.
She didn’t know how it happened, but she ended up with her head resting on Nicole’s shoulder, turning to look up as the redhead cracked another joke when their eyes locked. They were so close, and Waverly felt like there was a tractor beam pulling her closer to Nicole’s lips, and Nicole cut her story off before she could finish as Waverly and her drew closer together. There were only inches more to go before the office door busted open and Wynonna, attached to Doc at the lips, crashed up against the bar. It jolted them out of their moment, something that Waverly was going to kill Wynonna for, and they turned their horrified gaze onto what could only be described as a soft-core porno.
Nicole turned her eyes on Waverly, unsure what to do, while Waverly glared at her oblivious sister. Finally, after neither Doc nor Wynonna noticed that they were present Waverly called out to her sister. “Wynonna, I didn’t know that you were into exhibitionism.”
Wynonna jolted and shoved Doc away from her before turning to Waverly. “Baby girl! I didn’t know you were still here. Doc and I were…”
Waverly cut her off. “Just about to do it on the bar. Super gross by the way. Please tell me you, at least, clean it after.”
Doc mumbled something under his breath that Waverly didn’t catch, but Nicole looked scarred, as she had caught it. “How would you even…”
Waverly didn’t want to discuss the minutia of her sister’s sex life. “You were my ride home Wynonna, what am I supposed to do now?”
Wynonna looked incredibly guilty, but Nicole’s voice interrupted whatever apology was forming in her sister’s throat. “I can take you home.”
Waverly looked at Nicole wide-eyed. “I couldn’t ask you to do that.” She turned a glare on her sister. “I should force her to do it, despite her desire to have sex in her own place of business.”
“You didn’t ask. I’m offering.”
Waverly sighed, mostly because Wynonna had begun to look less guilty and a lot smugger than she had a moment ago. Waverly couldn’t help but think that Wynonna might have planned this so that Waverly would be alone with her crush. She was going to kill her regardless. “Okay. Thank you, Nicole.”
The drive home wasn’t as awkward as Waverly thought it might be. Instead, it was more joking and banter between them, now about Wynonna and how Nicole completely believed Waverly when she said that she’d known Wynonna had been secretly hooking up with Doc. Waverly appreciated the sentiment even if it was just a platitude to make her feel vindicated.
It wasn’t too long before they pulled up to the small home that Waverly shared with her sister. Nicole placed her car in park and turned to Waverly and smiled. “This is your stop, Waves.”
Waverly gave her a small smile back, trying not to look at how blue her eyes still stood out, even in the dark interior of the car. There was a long silence between them as they stared at each other. Waverly felt like she was getting drawn closer to her, and Nicole looked like she was also leaning in and Waverly could feel her heartbeat slow down, but also somehow getting louder. All of her fingers and toes were tingly with the realization of what was likely happening.
Her heart dropped when they were both startled out of whatever trance they were in by the loud interjection of her ringtone. She glanced down at her phone in her hand, seeing Wynonna’s name flashing on the screen. She growled in the back of her throat, moving to see Nicole back to sitting behind the wheel and looking a little flushed. “Goodnight, Waverly.”
Waverly sighed and patted Nicole’s thigh awkwardly. “Goodnight. See you tomorrow for coffee?”
Nicole gave her that usual smile and nodded. “Absolutely.”
Waverly got out of the car, shutting the door quickly before jabbing the answer button and angrily growling into it. “What!?”
“Jeez baby girl, if I’m interrupting your sex with Officer Haught-Ass then you shouldn’t have picked up in the first place.”
“I’m not having sex with her!”
“Oh. Well, good. I don’t think I want to hear that in the background while you’re telling me off.”
Waverly unlocked her door one handed while keeping the phone sandwiched between her shoulder and her ear. “Wynonna, focus. Why did you call me?”
“Oh, yeah. I assumed you were home by now and I wanted the details of your kiss with the redhead.”
Waverly felt her blood boil. “There was none because you called and interrupted us!”
There was silence on the other end of the line. Waverly was preparing herself for an apology, but that never came. “You gotta work faster, baby girl.”
She sighed and flopped onto her back on her bed. “I hate you so much. Are you and Doc… done already?” She winced at her own question.
“Nah, we ended up just drinking in the bar. The redhead might be a turn on for you, but she doesn’t do as much for me and Doc and our sex drive…” Waverly raised a skeptical eyebrow, even though she knew Wynonna couldn’t see it. “Oh who am I kidding, she’s hot as fuck. You guilted Doc out of wanting to bang on the bar.”
Waverly chuckled. “At least one of you has dignity.”
“Damn straight, baby girl. Sorry… for interrupting you.”
Waverly sighed. “I gotta put a stop to this. The sexual tension is killing me, and she’s so sweet and kind and just all around amazing.”
“You’re right, baby girl. You need to stop waiting for the right moment, and just make one yourself. You like her in a romantic way, as in you don’t just want to sleep with her, which I’ll never get, but you need to act on it.”
Waverly nodded resolutely. “I will. You coming home tonight?”
Wynonna grunted. “Gonna see if I can get Doc’s engine running again and see if I can stay at his place.”
“Totally called it between you two, by the way.”
“Sure you did, baby girl. Sleep well.”
“You too, ‘Nonna.”
The next morning, Waverly had done her make up as flawlessly as possible, and she’d chosen the cutest possible outfits, a pair of skinny jeans and a crop top that just barely showed off the lacy bra she’d chosen today. She felt confident and powerful and ready to finally talk to Nicole.
She didn’t have to wait long. She saw Nicole waiting outside of The Homestead as she unlocked the store. She smiled at her and Nicole smiled back happily, obviously chipper this morning. She waited for Waverly to open the store and get the cash register set up, as well as fix a few of the more important items she stored in the safe along with it. By the time that was done, Rosita had arrived and took over while Waverly went to get her coffee with Nicole.
Waverly had plans. She was a planner, but no plan ever went smoothly it seemed, as Nicole stayed a respectful distance and avoided touching her the entire time at the coffee shop. She even seemed to be taking up most of the chatter with her rambling thoughts, not letting Waverly get a word in edgewise. It was almost like Nicole was incredibly nervous.
It lasted through their entire morning coffee ritual, even lasting as Nicole chivalrously walked Waverly to her store entrance. They stopped a few yards away and Waverly finally couldn’t take it anymore.
She paused and looked at her. “What’s up?”
She was acting so weird. Waverly laughed at the absurdity of it all and put a hand on her arm. “I’ve been wanting to talk to you, but you’ve kinda be talking without taking a breath since we got to the coffee shop.” Nicole bit her lip, looking at Waverly before her eyes moved away shyly. “I just think that-“
“Nicole, I’m trying to say-“
“No, someone’s stealing something from your store!”
Waverly whipped around to see a young man, Rosita busy with another customer at the cash register, putting something into his hoodie pocket. From here it looked like an old German stein glass from the 1800s. Not her most expensive piece, but something that she wasn’t going to allow him to take.
He slipped out the door, just as she turned her body around to face him. “Hey!”
He gave her a wide-eyed look before bolting down the hall towards the exit. Waverly was about to growl in frustration when she felt a breeze blow by her. Her vision swam with red as Nicole gave chase. She pounded down the hallway after him, already calling it in on her radio for the other security officers.
Waverly had never been so transfixed by anything in her entire life. She knew she should be concerned about her merchandise, but the fact that Nicole ran and moved like a lithe jungle cat was doing all kinds of things for her. ‘Man,’ she thought, ‘The things I’m going to do to that woman.’
She did snap out of it eventually, and followed the way they had both run. She turned the corner just in time for Nicole to catch up with the guy and knock him to the ground. She winced at the thought of her German stein taking that impact, but from what she saw, it looked like the robber took most of it on his face. Nicole straddled him on his back and cuffed him, which allowed Waverly to catch up with them.
She stood there as Nicole helped stand him up. Nedley appeared and Nicole spoke to him briefly before handing off the thief and turning to Waverly. She smiled at her, and Waverly had the breath knocked out of her. That look was so full of pride at the thought of doing her job well, and at Waverly’s benefit, that it left Waverly in awe even more than seeing Nicole in full uniform take a bad guy down.
“I believe this belongs to you.” She offered the undamaged stein to Waverly whose gaze never left Nicole’s face. When she didn’t take the mug, Nicole’s eyebrows furrowed in confusion. “Waverly?”
Waverly calmly took the stein from her and moved to put it on the small ledge of a nearby mall kiosk that sat to separate the walkways between the stores on both sides. She had endured interruption after interruption. First from herself, then from Wynonna… multiple times, and now a stupid robber had interrupted her. No more.
“Waverly, what’s wro- mph!” Waverly had surged back around and taken Nicole by surprise. The kiss was sloppy and uncoordinated at first, until she felt Nicole relax and wrap her arms around her waist, pulling her closer. After that, Waverly felt herself gasp into the kiss without her brain telling her body to do that. She felt light headed and her hands found their way up into those fiery locks, getting a moan from Nicole as her short nails dragged across her scalp. It was absolutely perfect in every single way and her entire body felt like she was floating.
Finally, the need for air caused them to pull back and look at each other, still sharing the same airspace. “Wow.” Was all she caught from Nicole. She let out a breathy laugh and nodded.
“Yeah, wow… sorry about that… just needed to get my point across before something else interrupted us.”
Nicole just kind of dumbly nodded her head in agreement, a big smile on her face. “No complaints here.” She looked up at Waverly through her lashes and bit her lip. “Can I take you out after work tonight?”
Waverly nodded, opening her mouth to reply before a wolf whistle came from across the hall. She looked over to see Wynonna giving her two thumbs up. She turned back to an amused Nicole with a weary sigh.
“Maybe somewhere out of town.”